Monday, November 5, 2012

[ARC Batch 04] Yay~!

I got some new books to read! Thank you Netgalley/Authors/Publishers for giving me goodies~! =) The bookworm in me delights in all these fresh stories to devour. *nomnomnom*

Title: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
Author: Philip Pullman
Publication Date: November 8, 2012

#1 New York Times bestseller Philip Pullman retells the world's best-loved fairy tales on their 200th anniversary

Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume ofChildren's and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment-witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year's two movie adaptations of "Snow White"-Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like "Cinderella" and "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel" and "Hansel and Gretel" to lesser-known treasures like "Briar-Rose," "Thousandfurs," and "The Girl with No Hands," Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision-and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.

Oooooohhhh!!! I finally get to read the original versions of the Disney Classics I grew up watching from my childhood! And I'm not so naive as to think that the Brothers Grimm versions of the fairy tales were like Disney's. In fact, I've read a little of the original stories when I was way back in high school. That is such a long time ago, but a re-visit wouldn't be so bad, right? 

- ~ x o O o x ~ -

Title: Kiku's Prayer
Author: Endo Shusaku
Date of Publication: January 1, 2013

Endō's novel is told through the eyes of Kiku, self-assured young woman from a rural village who falls in love with Seikichi, a devoted Catholic man. Practicing a faith still banned by the government, Seikichi is imprisoned and forced to recant under torture. Kiku's efforts to reconcile her feelings for Seikichi and the sacrifices she makes to free him mirror the painful, conflicting choices Japan faced as a result of exposure to modernity and the West. Endō's nuanced view of history is very much on display in this novel: Seikichi's persecution exemplifies Japan's insecurities toward the West, and Kiku's tortured yet determined spirit represents the nation's resilient soul. Yet Kiku's Prayer is much more than a historical allegory. It acutely renders one woman's troubled encounter with passion and spirituality at a transitional time in her life and in the life of her people.

I have always been fascinated by Japan's culture. I am a huge fan of Anime, I cosplay on the side and I love Japanese food! =) Historical novels and stories set in Japan is definitely my cup of tea. 

Call it an irresistible kind of curiosity but I've always been interested in learning about Japan. In fact, I have a soft-bound copy of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha and has several other soft-bound English versions of books written by Japanese authors. That is not even counting the volumes of Manga I've read. *Hee*

When I saw Kiku's Prayer on Netgalley, I didn't hesitate to click the Request button. Even if it was a slim chance that my request will be approved, I still gambled, because I badly wanted to read the book. Lo, and behold! My request got approved! YAY!!! *squeals in delight*.

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